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Poster: tim_oz Date: Jun 21, 2010 5:14pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Horns?

For a long time I was not a fan of horns in the context of rock music. I listen to jazz and enjoy those instruments however they never did much for me when part of a rock arrangement. Exile On Main Street by the Rolling Stones was the album that turned me around. I knew I really liked the music but the horns initially put me off. Over time I found myself returning to the album and the horns became part of the music even if I didn't overly appreciate them. Finally I realized that I was actually enjoying what the different horn arrangements added to the sound. I won't say this has led me to actively seek out rock music with horns, but it doesn't put me off the way it used to.

As for horns and wind instruments with the Dead - I've never really listened to any of the shows that have them. I think I have at least one of the 9/73 shows in my collection but am yet to listen to it. I've heard the 3/29/90 Bird Song on the So Many Roads set and get the impression the band really enjoyed playing with Branford and his presence certainly brings the jazz elements of that song to the fore.

I think in some ways horns probably work better in the context of the Jerry Garcia Band. The repertoire of songs Jerry played in that band seems to suit the inclusion of horns better, and the more straightforward approach to the music benefits from horn arrangements. With the Dead they are interesting to hear for something different, and also for how the band interacts with a guest musician, but I'm not sure if it always works with the denser instrumentation and more complex sound of the Dead. Of course they did tend to keep it to a small subset of songs so their approach was very selective in where to involve the horns.

Another show I'm aware of but haven't given a proper listen to is the following, with sax and violin:


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Poster: Dudley Dead Date: Jun 22, 2010 7:52am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Horns?

I felt the same way, and the 60's triumph of the guitar over the other instruments, always made me suspicious of horns in "rock" . It was when I started to listening to 50's rock, and R&B, that I got it . This is ,of course, was what the Rolling Stones are drawing from on Exile ( "Rip this Joint" is a clear tip of the hat to Little Richard ).
As for the Dead, Branford, fit in the best, because he could play all the areas the Dead played . He really got Jerry jacked up .